Our Kitchen: The Heart of our Home

Our Kitchen the heart of our home.jpg

By Shadi, Interval House Client 

At Interval House, everyone eats together, but we each take turns cooking the evening meal. When it was my turn to prepare dinner for the first time, I was so nervous. What if no one liked the food I prepared?

I chose to prepare Persian rice, because I wanted to share some of my culture. Plus, this dish is often served at special occasions like weddings, because the sweet dried fruit in the dish symbolizes a sweet life. For me, my time at Interval House was a hopeful new beginning, a time to look forward to a better future—a future without the fear of constant abuse.

Much to my relief, everyone loved my rice and asked me to show them how to make it! I felt at home in the Interval House kitchen, making friends and building relationships. When I told the other women about how my boyfriend used to treat me like a slave and beat me when he got angry—they really understood what it was like.

My healing began in the Interval House kitchen. Whenever I needed support, I knew I could head to the kitchen and find someone to talk to.

Sitting around the kitchen table, sharing a meal that you’ve lovingly prepared, and talking to women who understand your pain… it’s such a healing thing to do. Through cooking, eating and connecting with other women at Interval House, I began to feel that I was actually worth something. Now I know there are people who love and support me. I understand that I truly matter.

The kitchen is truly the heart of our home. More than helping to feed our bodies, it helps to nourish our souls.